Tillman Trifecta

Where to begin with all of this….  Ahh…there is too much to say, so I am going to try and keep it brief.  I first picked up Where Men Win Glory a handful of months back and it didn’t take too long to be struck by what an incredible bad ass this guy was.  And I’m not simply referring to his physical exploits, courage, or alpha-maleness that this guy exuded.  I am more referring to what a principled, and intelligent individual he was. It’s actually the combination of these qualities that made him such a force.  The principles and ideals that I hold in the highest regard, seemingly were embodied by this individual and that is why his story has affected me as much as it has.

After finishing Where Men Win Glory, I decided to check out the documentary that came out a few weeks ago (only in artsy theaters by the way).  I felt I may be running the risk of overkill given that I had read the book, however I was pleasantly stirred, moved, and angered over the film.  I laughed out loud at tender, raw, honest scenes, and cried through several sections.  What had been an appreciation of the strength, integrity, and courage of an individual quickly expanded into an appreciation of these same qualities seen in his entire family.  It made me envious for that type of bond.  That is how families ’should’ work in my mind.

So I left the theater literally crying behind my shades.  Stirred not just over tragedy, but inspired by courage and seeing lives lived through integrity, purpose, and nobility.  Needless to say, I dragged my pops there the following week to stir up his pot as well.

One book down…one movie down.  Another book?  Really?  Really.  After seeing the movie and getting a further feel for his mother, I decided that I needed to read the book that she wrote about her son.  She had arguably led the charge to have the truth about Tillman’s death come to light, not only for closure, but to hold those involved in the cover-up/fuck up, held accountable.  Not only for the sense of justice, but also to help prevent future families from going through something similar.  Of course, not the same story since I don’t predict any other pro athletes will thrown down the pads and join the ranks, but soldiers who are killed through fratricide and there families are not given the real stories.

Anyway, I ordered Boots on the Ground by Dusk on-line used at Barnes and Nobles.com.  Excellent way to purchase books by the way.  Cost me $7.50 for hardcover which includes postage.  The book was in perfect shape.  Pretty damn good deal.  Anyways, I was once again incredibly moved by yet another Tillman book.  This actually I think was my favorite and took more of a hardened look at the facts of the case that I believe Kraukauer didn’t have access to.  The idea of murder, as opposed to negligence, was explored and is pretty riveting.  Mostly though her story basically combines the love of her son and family coupled with a pursuit of justice through an unjust process.

Anyways, these three items that make up the Tillman Trifecta, I believe, is something that everyone with a true pulse should read/see.  Each one compliments the other and show a different side or angle to it.  Where Men is a good introductory one with a lot of tactical warfare shit thrown in; the movie shows the people and has incredible raw and candid footage; and Boots is seen through the eyes of a passionate, tough, intelligent and loving mother.  Hell, if you can sit through and tolerate really a trilogy of forest wandering hobbits then you can and should invest the time in these.  It’s not a story of hero worship at all.  Not a modern day Braveheart come to life.  It’s a story of integrity versus the forces that corrupt it.  I recommend all three to you.  And personally, I think I went in the ideal order.  I would do Krakauer’s book first, followed by the movie, then read Boots.  Recs are recs.  Get to it.

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